Indianapolis mayoral debate with Indiana Insiders
Mayor Greg Ballard and Melina Kennedy
WTHR asked Indiana Insider analysts Peter Rusthoven (R) and Robin Winston (D) for their thoughts on Saturday night’s mayoral debate at the University of Indianapolis. Here are their responses. Please note that WTHR does not endorse these statements and that they are the opinions attributed to each individual commentator only.
This debate provided a good window on the candidates and the choice in this year’s Mayoral election.
Melina Kennedy comes across as exactly what she is – a lawyer and a poltico, a critic and a talker.
Mayor Ballard comes across as exactly what he is – a Marine, a leader, a doer.
If you had to pick one of these two people to do a tough job that was personally important to you and your family, where “talking good” meant nothing and getting results meant everything, there’s no question you would hire the Marine and the doer, not the lawyer and the talker. And you’d be right.
That’s exactly the choice faced by the City of Indianapolis and it citizens. They should make the same decision.
What we witnessed tonight was an absolute affirmation that Melina Kennedy has the skills to be our next Mayor. In every category she demonstrated a keen knowledge of the subject matter, the ability to offer sensible solutions and a commitment to inclusion. Melina’s background in tangible economic development will give us a Mayor that understands how to package the City, offer the inducements and incentives necessary to retain and recruit new jobs and will provide us with an advocate for economic development at the regional and national level. As a small business owner, Melina has the skills and knowledge to understand what it is like to sign both the front and the back of checks. She helps makes payroll for others so that they can support their families.
Her steadfast commitment to supporting our public and private schools started early and has been reinforced throughout. While others have mocked her for taking on education, the level of interest demonstrated by the panelists and those from the audience who posed questions shows that education does matter. She is right to take on this issue because it impacts our ability to be viable for job creation and to combat crime.
One of the hallmarks of a Kennedy administration will be to be open and frank. All of us who pay to park recognize the rate increases and the extension of hours that has resulted in increased fees. To accuse Melina of raising taxes is at best disingenuous. Melina has never raised taxes. That’s a fact.
Having strong leadership as Mayor is absolutely essential for public safety. Melina earned the endorsement of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police because of her commitment to building a new team of leadership in public safety. She understands that those who do an outstanding job in public safety deserve a partner as Mayor. She will be that partner.
As I have said for years, GOTV is a term used by many to describe winning elections. To some, it means Get On TV. I disagree. It means Get Out the Vote. Melina’s performance tonight provides those who were undecided a chance to ask one basic question between now and Election Day—Do I care enough to vote for better jobs, a partner in education, reducing taxes and fees for small businesses and for a candidate supported by our police? If they do, then we will have change and Melina Kennedy as a new Mayor.
I know that some of you who read this have already made up your mind. That’s great. Now use your leadership and contacts to do one more thing—help Melina by Getting Out the Vote now and before November 8th. And if you disagree with my opinion, please don’t hide behind anonymous blog posts. I had to sign my name to post this. You should do the same.
Thank you for reading and for watching Channel 13.